An item on last night’s city council agenda, the Policy for the Use of City Parks, brought up a, um, fresh debate about dogs being allowed in the interior of City of Norcross parks.
The issue was first brought to the Council by Public Works, Utilities, Parks and Recreation Director Craig Mims, who wanted to amend the city parks ordinance “to help clarify and make certain changes in authorized usage in each of the City’s Parks,” according to a memo he authored.
The clarification seemed relatively straightforward, but Councilmember Andrew Hixson moved to remove section 30-18 from the ordinance, which states that pets are not allowed in the interior of the parks.
He said he would still like the pets to be on leashes--but that people already break the "no pets allowed" rule, even with the current ordinance.
Hixson, who has a dog that he walks in Norcross, told a personal anecdote: He got married in the pavilion in Lillian Webb and has always wanted to walk his dog there to share the experience. His dog is a family member, after all.
“There’s a whole host of people who don’t want dogs where people recline or sit,” said Councilmember Charlie Rheim, who was against changing the ordinance.
Councilmember David McLeroy favored with Hixson. He said he felt the ordinance was one that the city just can’t enforce. “It makes no sense to me,” he said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ross Kaul said he wished that people would be responsible enough to pick up after their dogs, but he just doesn’t think it can happen. He even got a few laughs by mentioning that he has taken pictures of transgressions of local pooches and sent them to staff members to make his point.
Ultimately, the Council voted 3-2 to keep the policy as is.